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Courts Service: Performance Targets 2005–06

Volume 670: debated on Monday 28 February 2005

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The Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs and Lord Chancellor
(Lord Falconer of Thoroton)

On 1 April 2005, I will launch Her Majesty's Courts Service. The new agency brings together 43 organisations: the Court Service and the 42 magistrates' courts committees.The following table sets out the key performance targets which I have set for her Majesty's Courts Service for 2005–06.

Relevant PSAHeadline targets criminal courtsPerformance required by March 2006
PSA 1(SR 2002 and 2004)Increasing offences brought to justice: Reducing the proportion of ineffective criminal trialsNot more than 17 per cent in the Crown Court Not more than 23 per cent in magistrates' courts
PSA 1 (SR 2002 and 2004)Ensuring cases are disposed of promptly78 per cent of cases start on time in the Crown Court
PSA 1 (SR 2002 and 2004)Average case length for persistent young offendersNot more than 71 days
PSA 1 (SR 2002 and 2004)Maintain the number of sitting days in the Crown Court104,200 sitting days
PSA 2 (SR 2002 and 2004)Improve enforcement of fines and execution of community penalty breach warrantsA Payment rate of 81 per cent or above The different individual area targets for warrant execution are met
Relevant PSAHeadline targets Civil and Family CourtsPerformance required by March 2006
PSA 3 (SR 2002)PSA 5 (SR 2004)Hearings and ordersIncrease the proportion of contact and ancillary relief orders made by consent to 73.4 per cent Reduce by 5 per cent the proportion of disputed claims in the courts that are ultimately resolved by a hearing
PSA 4-PSA 5 (SR 2002 PSA 5 (SR2004)ClaimsIncrease by 2 per cent the number of small claims that are heard within the target time
PSA 4 (SR 2002)Increase the level of user satisfaction in key areasUser satisfaction with: knowledge of court staff at public counter 85 per cent knowledge of staff on telephone service 80 percent speed of resolution of complaints 60 per cent helpfulness of written communication 80 per cent
Relevant PSAHeadline targets criminal courtsPerformance required by March 2006
PSA 4 (SR 2004)Public Law Children Act Cases (Vulnerable children)To improve performance in the time taken to complete care cases heard in the courts against the 40 week target (ultimately by 10 percentage points by 2010)
PSA 4 (SR 2002)AdoptionsComplete 70 per cent of cases in County Courts within 20 weeks
Copies of the HM Courts Service framework document and the Business Plan for 2005–06 have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.